One year after relocating to a new 105,000 sq ft facility in West Henrietta, NY, Premier Packaging, a subsidiary of DSS, Inc., continues to optimize its paperboard packaging production.
In 2022, the thirty-six-year-old company also invested in a refurbished Speedmaster CD 102-5 and a brand new Speedmaster XL 106-7+L via Subscription Smart from HEIDELBERG. The subscription, which includes Prinect Production Manager workflow, Saphira Consumables, and access to Performance and Consulting services from HEIDELBERG, helps ensure the company’s presses consistently run at peak performance.
“This partnership takes the worry off of us and allows us to get the best value and support for this press,” said Bruce Stratton, Vice President of Operations, Premier Packaging.
In addition to the many efficiency boosting benefits of Subscription Smart, switching to Prinect Production Manager from a competitive workflow the company used for years immediately freed Premier Packaging of thousands of dollars it spent on monthly licensing fees. Since start-up, Prinect Production Manager has also improved the company’s productivity thanks to the software’s seamless integration to its Suprasetter CtP, proofer, and both Speedmaster presses and enhanced tools and plug-ins, which enable better color control and lessen human error throughout production.
Premier Packaging, which serves a variety of industries from food and beverage to medical and personal care to photo, offers its customers a full range of services including package design, prototyping, manufacturing, and inventory management. With its previous workflow, the company’s prepress team frequently struggled to efficiently create nested layouts for the hundreds of dynamic packaging designs it processes daily. Since switching to Prinect, Keith Oliver, Prepress Team Lead for Premier Packaging, says, “We can quickly optimise imposition layouts based on the quantities we input. Prinect has really automated the process. Plus, it’s much easier to work with the CF2 and CAD files we create for customers.”
Also included in Premier Packaging’s Prinect package is access to plug-ins like PDF Toolbox. With PDF Toolbox, the prepress team can open PDFs of customers’ finished files and easily manipulate items like imposition, individual graphical or text elements, coating files, or variable data. With PDF Toolbox’s ‘Imposition Editor’ tool, Oliver’s team benefits from Prinect’s ability to easily make custom layout files ‘on the fly’. “It works really well. Then, we can save it and if we run a similar job in the future, we can easily recall the file,” says Oliver. Additionally, with ‘Barcode Editor’ within PDF Toolbox, Premier Packaging can create barcodes free of charge, where previously the company needed to purchase them.
Prior to Prinect, the prepress team at Premier was also unable to output a job ticket with an image of the imposed file for the pressmen, which often resulted in the team hand drawing an image for press checks. According to Oliver, “We can now print out the imposition file – exactly as we want – with or without the printed image – showing paper size, measurements, gutters, grippers, etc., so our pressmen know exactly how it’s supposed to be laid out during the press run.” The enhanced job ticket information helps the pressmen identify potential errors in the printed sheet before it reaches the die cutter – saving the company time, waste, and costly re-runs.
The company is eliminating further waste and potential for human error thanks to Prinect Production Manager’s seamless integration with its Suprasetter 106 CtP and both of its Speedmaster presses – particularly, the XL 106’s Prinect Inpress Control technology. With Prinect integration, the prepress team at Premier Packaging can send information to the press like paper size and thickness and print quantity, and Inpress Control uses the data to automatically set the ink keys and adjusts the press accordingly. Once the press starts up, Inpress Control then automatically measures and controls color and registers on the fly.
“It makes set-up time for our pressmen so much simpler and faster,” says Oliver. Premier Packaging’s Prinect workflow is also connected to its CD 102, proofers, and Suprasetter platesetter. “We can make plates, we can make a proof, we can send information to the press. Everything is connected. It’s just a matter of hitting a button,” he adds.
With Prinect integrating different parts of Premier Packaging’s production, the company decided to conduct Print Color Management (PCM) with Heidelberg’s team of experts to ensure the facility’s color matches amongst all its devices. Additionally, PCM enables the company to achieve G7 Master Facility compliance. Oliver adds, “We’re pleased. We feel comfortable if we put the same job on either press, we will achieve the same colour.”
Pleased with the results Premier Packaging is seeing throughout every stage of production, Stratton concludes, “With a good partner, and with this plan, we have what we need to support us each and every day.”